Detroit – The Death of Harry Houdini

As was typical for stories involving Houdini, several romanticized legends about his death emerged. Legends aside, it was found that Harry Houdini died in Detroit, Michigan of peritonitis, secondary to a ruptured appendix following an unexpected challenge. His health failed over the course of a week, which came unexpectedly and quickly, as he was known for challenging and averting death in his escapes. Eyewitnesses to an incident in Montreal gave rise to a speculation that Houdini’s death was caused by a surprise attack of multiple blows to Houdini’s midsection. Houdini was asked about the claim that he could withstand any punch to the abdomen. Houdini replied, affirming the claim, but was then hit unexpectedly without an opportunity brace himself.

Following the incident, Houdini found himself in increasing pain, but continued performing. The famous escape artist decided the show must go on and declined medical treatment, but eventually the pain became too great and he was seen by a doctor and then admitted to Grace Hospital. Houdini performed his last show at the Garrick Theater in Detroit, Michigan on October 24, 1926. He died in Grace Hospital, in Detroit, on the afternoon of Halloween, October 31, 1926.